Thursday, October 28, 2021

£1,866,666 for a youth club?

Here's another corker from the Budget yesterday: "we’re providing £560m for youth services, enough to fund up to 300 youth clubs across the country."

Firstly, funding for youth services has been cut by £1bn since 2010, so this restores about half of what was taken away.
Secondly, what? This is £1,866,667 per youth club. Our parish has 2 youth groups, run by a part-time youth worker, plus volunteers, in church premises. Even if those groups were run by 2 full time youth workers, in hired premises, it would only cost £50,000 a year.
So either:
a) Rishi is promising to fund youth work for the next 38 years
b) Most of this money will go on building youth centres (daft idea - hire other local premises and support them instead)
c) Most of it's going to be spent on consultants/managers.
Seriously, give the money to the Church of England (or any church network doing youth work). We're in every community, we already have 900+ churches running youth groups of 25 or more at a fraction of this cost. We have premises. And we have continuity, so youth clubs will be less at risk of death by the annual local government funding cycle. £560m will pay for the equivalent of 2.3 full time youth workers in 1000 places for the next 10 years. That's enough for 3,000 youth groups, let alone 300.

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